In High Spirits

Whether as part of a celebration, social gathering, or a quiet moment at home, alcohol consumption in 2003 reached $145.4 billion, according to the Adams Beverage Group, which publishes the annual Adams Handbook Advance — a compendium of statistics on spirits, wine, and beer.

It’s a market being driven by new blends, high-end products, and imports, confirms Tiziana Mohorovic, director of information services for Adams. Sales in spirits rose in every category. Beer dipped slightly, but lights, imports, and domestic superpremiums saw increases. In fact, consumers spent $8 billion more in 2003 than they did the previous year, with imported products outperforming domestic brands in all three segments.

Author Edward Burke once said, “One can drink too much, but one never drinks enough.” Consumers seem to be lifting their glasses to that sentiment. And so, too, do the following five professionals, who work hard at bringing the very best in the wine, spirits, and brews to market.

ANDRE MACK Head Sommelier | Per Se Restaurant, New York
André Mack, 32, has earned his stripes. In 2003, he won the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Best Young Sommelier in America competition. He was also awarded the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers’ certificate.

Formerly the sommelier at the famed restaurant French Laundry in California’s Napa Valley, Mack now advises clients about wine and food at Per Se, Manhattan’s newest interpreter of French cuisine.
“I worked as a waiter to support my way through college. At my tables, I realized the more I knew about wine, the more wine the guest would order. I began to read everything I could on the subject. So, what started as a sales instrument became an obsession.”

A typical day for Mack is divided into two parts. “Office time, 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., is spent ordering, purchasing, receiving, and recording wine shipments.

“Service time, 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., is spent interacting with guests on the dining room floor, selecting and serving wine based on the guest’s chosen menu, and directing wine service among the staff throughout the restaurant.”

Mack’s biggest challenges are keeping the wine list current with its rapidly changing inventory. “The really big one,” he says, “is trying to overcome a guest’s belief that they must drink only a certain type of wine.”

PETER MORALESWine & Spirits Importer & Distributor | 57 Main Street Wine, Garden City, NY
Peter Morales, 44, is president and founder of 57 Main Street Wine Co. — a joint venture between Peter Andrew, L.L.C. and KWV International. Located in Garden City, New York, the company’s portfolio includes KWV wines and spirits, Cathedral Cellars, Imoya Brandy, Robert’s Rock, and estate wines from South Africa’s Cape region. Prior to founding his company in 1998, Morales worked for 18 years in sales and marketing for various corporate companies, where his focus was consumer product management. In 1989, a professional recruiter introduced him to the hospitality industry, where he first worked for Grand Metropolitan PLC of UK and then a U.S. wholesaler.

Today he imports wine and spirits from South Africa, Argentina, Italy, and Spain, with much of his